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The Washington Post

Prof. Yoel Fink speaks with Washington Post reporter Pranshu Verma about the growing field of smart textiles and his work creating fabrics embedded with computational power. Fink and his colleagues “have created fibers with hundreds of silicon microchips to transmit digital signals — essential if clothes are to automatically track things like heart rate or foot swelling. These fibers are small enough to pass through a needle that can be sown into fabric and washed at least 10 times.”

The Daily Beast

Daily Beast reporter Tony Ho Tran writes that MIT researchers have developed a tiny fuel cell that can transform glucose into electricity. “The team behind the new fuel believes it could potentially be used as a coating on medical implants like artificial hearts or pacemakers,” writes Tran. “Those implants could be powered passively while in use without the need for expensive and cumbersome batteries that take up valuable real estate in the body.”

The Boston Globe

MIT researchers have developed a new fuel cell that takes glucose absorbed from food in the human body and turns it into electricity, reports Gwen Egan for Boston.com. “That electricity could power small implants while also being able to withstand up to 600 degrees Celsius — or 1112 degrees Fahrenheit — and measuring just 400 nanometers thick,” writes Egan.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Devin Coldewey spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a machine learning technique for proposing new molecules for drug discovery that ensures suggested molecules can be synthesized in a lab. Coldewey also features how MIT scientists created a new method aimed at teaching robots how to interact with everyday objects.

Fortune

MIT researchers have developed a new technique that uses deep learning to improve the process of drug discovery, reports Jonathan Vanian for Fortune. “The technique addresses a common problem that researchers face when using A.I. to develop novel molecular structures: life sciences experts can often face challenges synthesizing A.I.-created molecular structures,” writes Vanian. 

C&EN

Prof. Alison Wendlandt speaks with Univ. of Michigan graduate student and C&EN guest writer Bec Roland about her journey to leading her own research lab and how being queer has been integral to that journey. “I think being different, whatever that means – in my case, being LGBTQ – has been like a superpower,” says Wendlandt. “It’s granted me the opportunity to reflect on my interests, my desires, and my life. It’s allowed me to pursue a career that’s very honest to my own needs.”

EOS

A study conducted by Prof. Susan Solomon and her colleagues has found that unlike CFCs, smoke destroys the ozone in a more roundabout way, creating concerns due to the impact of the Australian bushfires of 2019-2020, reports Krystal Vasquez for EOS. “Because of the sheer scale of the event [the Australian bushfires] massive amounts of smoke penetrated the normally pristine upper stratosphere,” writes Vasquez.

Inverse

Researchers from MIT have developed a new fabric that can hear and interpret what’s happening on and inside our bodies, reports Elana Spivack for Inverse. Beyond applications for physical health the researchers envision that the fabric could eventually be integrated with “spacecraft skin to listen to [accumulating] space dust, or embedded into buildings to detect cracks or strains,” explains Wei Yan, who helped develop the fabric as an MIT postdoc. “It can even be woven into a smart net to monitor fish in the ocean. It can also facilitate the communications between people who are hard of [hearing].”

Wired

Prof. Sara Seager has been awarded one of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) awards, which will help fund her project aimed at sending an orbiter that deploys an inflatable probe to Venus, as part of an effort to search for habitability or signs of life, reports Ramin Skibba for Wired. “This search for signs of life on Venus has been around for a long time, and now the stars are aligned to start taking it seriously,” says Seager.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Hiawatha Bray spotlights how a number of MIT spinoffs are working on changing the world’s energy-storage systems. “Behind these companies are key technological advances in chemistry and materials, many of them pioneered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” writes Bray. “These breakthroughs have put battery startups at the forefront of the region’s climate-tech sector.”

WHDH 7

Prof. Yoel Fink speaks with WHDH about his team’s work developing an acoustic fabric that can listen to and record sound, a development inspired by the human ear. "The fabric can be inserted into clothes to monitor heart rate and respiration. It can even help with monitoring unborn babies during pregnancy."

The Wall Street Journal

Prof. Susan Solomon speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Nidhi Subbaraman about her research and another recent study that provides evidence wildfire smoke poses a threat to the ozone layer. “It’s fair to say that, at least for a few months, these wildfires canceled out the last decade of all the efforts that we put in over the Montreal Protocol,” says Solomon. “I think there’s every reason to believe this is going to happen more often, and it’s going to act to slow down the recovery of the ozone depletion.”

Bloomberg News

Bloomberg News spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new material that works like a microphone, converting sounds into vibrations and then electrical signals. “The development means the possibility of clothes that act as hearing aids, clothes that answer phone calls, and garments that track heart and breathing rates,” writes Bloomberg News.

Popular Science

Researchers from MIT and the Rhode Island School of Design have developed a wearable fabric microphone that can detect and transmit soundwaves and convert them into electrical signals, reports Shi En Kim for Popular Science. “Computers are going to really become fabrics," says Prof. Yoel Fink. "We’re getting very close.”

The Daily Beast

MIT researchers have created a flexible fiber that can generate electrical impulses that are conveyed to the brain as sound, reports Miriam Fauzia for The Daily Beast. “The researchers see endless possibilities for their smart fabric,” writes Fauzia. “The obvious application is in improving hearing aids, which Fink said have trouble discerning the direction of sound, particularly in noisy environments. But the fabric could also help engineers design wearable fabrics that can measure vital signs, monitor space dust in new kinds of spacecraft, and listen for signs of deterioration in buildings like emerging cracks and strains.”